Monday, November 28, 2011

Surreal Sunset

Our ride home from NJ on Sunday was relatively easy, considering all the hype about possible traffic delays.
sunset 112711 (1)IMG_7091
Our special after-holiday treat was seeing this spectacular sunset.
These were taken from inside the car using the “vivid” setting on my Canon PowerShot SX130IS camera.
sunset 112711 (8)
I was experimenting with the settings; no other changes were done. It amazes me that I can have such fun using a point & shoot type digital camera, after previously owning a couple of digital SLRs.
sunset 112711 (6)
Today was cyber-Monday but we did not do any online shopping. Instead, we worked on going through “stuff” and sorting “stuff” to be tossed out or donated to local thrift stores.

Did YOU shop online today – for yourself or others?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Couple of Cuties

Recent photos of grandson and granddaughter sent by their mom.

grandkids collageDecember is a month of 5s – grandson celebrates his 5th birthday in early Dec and granddaughter will be 5 months old that month.

Heading Home

sideview sunsetWe are heading home today after a NJ road trip to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.
We hope everyone had a great celebration – however and wherever it was spent.

Thanks for your good wishes and friendship.
Beatrice & Grenville.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Funnies

Nature provides some interesting imagery; sometimes all that’s needed is imagination.

Can you see the bird in this branch?

tree bird (1)These tangled branches resembled a heart to my eyes.vine heartThis image is for Steve who blogs at Out on the Prairie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

pumpkin and gourds 06

Grenville and I are thankful for your friendships and wish you a wonderful holiday celebration.

We’re heading out on another road trip on Wed to Plainfield, NJ to celebrate at my mom’s. BUT, this is our last road trip for 2011. We’re spending Christmas & New Year’s Eve at home (alone) – our gift to us!

These photos were taken earlier this month in the Frog & PenguINN gardens.

orange collageBees were still collecting pollen in the wildflowers.

bee collage

“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.”

Johnny Carson

Monday, November 21, 2011

Porching It

Nope, not in the sense of sitting on the porch, but finishing it. The front porch needed maintenance every few years in the form of sanding and repainting since it’s not an enclosed porch.

porch project1119 (10)So instead of continually maintaining it, we replaced it with “ wood- alternative” decking made by the Trex Company. The half shown above was done first since it’s the side where we “porch it” in those rockers.

porch project 1119The other half of the porch was on Grenville’s “to do” list last week and the completion is shown here. There’s a color difference between the older and new decking, as the older one has weathered. In time, the new decking will do the same.

porch done 1119Yes, the replacement cost was higher than sanding and repainting the wood. But, the real savings comes in NOT having to redo the porch every few years; composite decking won't rot, splinter, warp or deteriorate – that works for us!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meadow’s End

Along with the garden’s end this week, there was also the end of the wildflower jungle meadow.

Grenville sowed LOTS of seeds this past spring.

meadow0513 (2)At first, he wondered whether much would grow.

wildflower meadow0601 (2)Week by week, the plant size increased.

meadow overview0623 (3)The flowers grew higher and more colorful.

meadow0701meadow0716 (4)By the end of October, they were still blooming.

meadow pinks1106meadow reds1106meadow yellows1106We even had backyard visitors up to a week ago.

yardvisitors1106Some of the annual flowers in pots were in bloom again.

yard flowers2 1106But last week, after a couple evenings of near freezing temps, some wildflowers were drooping.

meadow dried 1106Most of the taller flower stalks were starting to topple over.

meadow ending1118 (2)This week, Grenville cut down and mulched the entire meadow. It now looks like the way it started in the spring.

meadow cleared1118 (2)Next spring, we will be waiting to see HOW large and high the meadow becomes with all the re-distributed seeds.

Crepe Myrtle Colors

crepe myrtles1119
The crepe myrtle trees alongside our home, the Frog & PenguINN, have shed nearly all their leaves providing lots of autumn colors.
IMG_7022Fallen leaves include most colors associated with this season.
crepe myrtle leaves1119
Some leaves display their summer colors as long as  possible.
“The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold . . .”

(from Autumn Leaves by Johnny Mercer)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Garden’s End

It’s been a busy week at the Frog & PenguINN.  Grenville and John Deere “played” in the gardens for a couple of days.

This is how the veggie gardens looked in mid-summer when the crops were in season.

garden overview0623This is how part of that garden looked earlier this week.

garden cleared1118 (2)Here’s how it looks after being cleared out and mulched yesterday.

garden cleared1118 (4)Before it was cleared, we picked some eggplant, peppers and carrots. The carrots are not shown, but there was a small basketful, some were given away. The others are going into another batch of carrot soup and some carrot bread for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

veggies1106Also last week, before the temps dipped into the 30s, we found a few strawberries and some blossoms.

strawberries1106The wildflower jungle meadow was cut down and mulched this week. After returning from our fall NH road trip, we had another 3 weeks of enjoyment from its blooms. But a couple of cold evenings this week killed the remaining flowers. Photos in an upcoming post.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Got Backup?????

So how many of you really do your regular data backups?????? I always say I'm going to do it, but somehow other things get in the way. I remember back in the stone ages of xt’s and 386’s people had whole units to do backups that were as big a box as the computer was.

Well, after our returning from the New Hampshire trip and having some glitches i decided to go through all my data, get rid of what i don’t need and use that nifty 40 gig portable hard drive i bought to do backups,,,,, 3 years ago. HEY!!!! Ya don’t want to rush into some things. So now the backups are done. Even the weather data since 2005.  And i was happy. In fact so happy i decided to take the rest of the evening off and have some ‘me time’, starting with a long hot shower.

The Princess had gone to the Y so i decided to be nice and fix dinner, BUT made a quick stop at the downstairs bathroom………. Now, i have never heard of plumbing systems being jealous, but apparently they can be. The downstairs toilet (last thing on the line as it goes out) was overflowing. The main septic line was now ‘Backed Up’.

Remember all the fun Plumber Jack had the other day fighting with the evil ‘roots’????? Well apparently after dislodging the root clog it did not “go quietly into the night”. No it begrudgingly headed to the main line and there decided to ‘backup’. septic (2)

Plumber Jack was here again after i  begged his wife to let him come ‘play’. After sending the BIG snake up the line numerous times, and  noseptic (1)t seeming to clear the latest clog i started to listen to the ground where the line is buried. What should have been a metallic clinking sound of the snake going through castseptic (3) iron was a dull thumping sound (all together now say ‘Oh No!!!!’).

The decision to dig up where I heard the thudding was an easy one. What we found was the least expected. If you have never heard of “Green Field” piping it is nothing more than septic (6)tarpaper rolled into a pipe. It is the cheap substitute for the old time cast iron. It also does  not hold up to pressure from above, and since the main septic line runs under our parking area we Septic 1had a sure fire disaster in  the making. As they say on TV,,, BUT THATS NOT ALL!!!!!! Even after finding this crushed and broken pipe and clearing the dirt from it we still had little or no flow. Half anseptic (8) hour with a closet auger finally got to the root of all the problems and it was extracted with great effort (told you it didn’t go quietly). And with that we finally had flow, and a big open spot in the line. Since this line will be getting replaced next Monday we decided that a temporary solution to keep any more dirt or debris from falling into the open line was in order.

SOOOO if you are going to do any data backups, make sure that the bathroom door is securely shut.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pork Loin & Sweet Potatoes in Crockpot

Today we wanted a quick and easy dinner as Grenville and I pork loin crock pot (1)decided to spend most of a beautiful day outdoors on a couple of Sunday strolls. Grenville will be posting photos later.
Dinner had to be something we could prepare before leaving and be ready by 6 p.m. We’ve having friends, Marty & Bob, join us for dinner around that time.
Solution: crock pot Sunday dinner.
Crock Pot Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 to 4 pounds
  • 2 to 3 large sweet potatoes, chunked
  • 2-3 carrots, chunked
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 C apple cider (not apple juice)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste or pork seasoning
Rub pork seasonings (or salt, pepper and garlic powder) on meat. Cut sweet potatoes and green peppers in large pieces and place in crock pot. Place pork loin on top. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over all; cook all day on low 8-9 hours or about 4 hours on high. Serve with a salad or green vegetable.
pork loin crock pot (2)
Note: For a thicker sauce, mix some flour with a bit of the juices and make a slurry, then add back into crock pot on high for 10-15 minutes.
Dessert will be freshly baked pumpkin pie. Last night, Grenville made one with pumpkins from our veggie garden. (We discovered a couple of frozen packages in the freezer this week.)
A perfect fall Sunday evening dinner with good friends.
Sorry you can’t all join us. Maybe another time.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Funnies

Have you hugged a rock lately?

roots on rocks1018 (3)That’s what is looked like this this tree was doing in NH.

roots on rocks1018


Veterans Day Celebration

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day which is always observed on November 11 in the U.S – regardless of what day of the week on which it falls.Onley parade collage2Last Saturday, Onley, VA held its annual Veterans Day parade and celebration to honor local veterans.veterans collageIt started with a Coast Guard honor guard and veterans groups.honor guard-veteransThere were motorcycles . . .

cyclistsSome vintage autos . . .

cars collage1cars collage2Fire trucks and rescue vehicles . . .

fire trucks1Onley fire-rescueAnd, other types of transportation . . .

ex Onley mayor John W KellamIMG_1940ES horse clubAfter the parade, the celebration continued at the local fire and rescue building with a free lunch and musical entertainment.Onley parade collage3